Nobody knows for sure where the origins of Valentine’s Day come from. However, Saint Valentin is often mentioned as he married lovers in the 3rd century according to Christian rites, despite the contradictions of Roman law. The custom of giving women flowers on 14 February also probably already existed in ancient Rome, as Juno, the goddess of birth and marriage, was commemorated on that day.
No matter where Valentine's Day comes from, every country celebrates love and friendship in their own way. We have summarised our favourite ideas and customs from different countries here:
In Finland, Valentine's Day - also known as Ystävänpäivä - is a little broader than we might know it as it is all about friendship! All people who bring you joy can get a little something: good school friends, colleagues, parents, siblings, a friendly neighbour or, of course, your life partner. On this day, it’s very common to send postcards (both bought and self-made), which often even remain anonymous and leave the recipients guessing who is behind the nice surprise. On top of that, there are also some special events or special prices in shops so you really get to enjoy the day with your good friends.
In Denmark, Valentine's Day is all about love! The traditional Valentine's Day flower is the snowdrop, which is often given with chocolate, poems and even riddles. Similar to Finland, it’s also common to send out surprise anonymously and you can look forward to a little reward if you guess the sender correctly!
It seems to be a specialty of France to send out cards with personal words on Valentine's Day. It is even said that the Valentine's Day card originated in France as supposedly, hundreds of years ago the Duke of Orlean wrote a poem on a card and signed it "Your Valentine".
A small selection of Pickmotion products suitable for Valentine's Day!
In Japan, affection is expressed with small gifts twice a year on specific days. On 14 February, women give chocolates to their partners, but also to male friends or colleagues. Depending on the relationship, there is a different selection of chocolates, because it is custom to give everyone a gift. One month later is the so-called "White Day", when it’s time for the men to hand out white chocolate to all the women in their lives.
In Wales, the day of love is not celebrated until 25 January, because that is when the patron saint of lovers, St. Dwynwen, is honoured – thus the day is also called St. Dwynwen's Day instead of Valentine’s Day. Different from other countries, flowers are not a common gift on this day but instead, you will find many artistically carved wooden spoons also known as "Lovespoons"! The tradition dates back to the 15th century, when young men made wooden spoons to convince their future father-in-law of their craftsmanship.
Brazil also celebrates Valentine’s Day a bit later than other countries, namely on 12 June - the "Dia dos Namorados" (Lovers' Day). On this day, people celebrate together in the circle of their loved ones, give each other small presents and spend the whole day together with good music and delicious food. The day is also a popular date for weddings or engagements, as legend has it that the relationship will be under a lucky star.
Which tradition do you like best and do you know any other customs from other countries? Feel free to share them with us! If you also love to give cards for Valentine's Day, take a look through our online shop or visit a shop near you for beautiful PICKMOTION cards. Have a great day and remember to treat yourself too!